California Educator

October 09

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 39

CTA State Council of Education Democracy in action written by Mike Myslinski Two extraordinary CTA political victories 17 years apart helped define the union forever as a ma- jor player in California politics and a champion of public educa- tion. These successful ballot box battles began as they all do, with the direction given by rank and file delegates elected to CTA’s State Council of Education. Passing Proposition 98 in 1988 to guarantee minimum funding for schools and community colleges put CTA in a league of its own, thanks to the hard work of thousands of members. Defeating Gov. Schwarzenegger’s three dangerous initiatives in the 2005 special election inspired younger teachers to get involved, says State Council delegate Terri Jackson, who represents United Teachers of Richmond. There was a lot on the line in 2005, and Council delegates met the challenge, Jackson says. “The buck really stops with the delegate. This victory was the height of being the ‘relentless political machine’ that Pete Wilson called us. People who were not involved until then got fired up because of 2005.” Jackson is one of 755 opposite: CTA Secretary-Treasurer Gail Mendes, President David A. Sanchez, and Vice President Dean Vogel, at State Council in May. Below: During a protest in April 2008 at State Council in advance of the CTA’s statewide “Cuts Hurt” bus tour launch, 200 State Council members held up mock pink slips representing the 18,000 educators who received layoff notices. democrat ic a l ly e le c t ed delegates to State Council, which meets four weekends a year in Los Angeles to make vital decisions affecting our 340,000 CTA members. Delegates serve three-year terms. Elected in their assigned districts across the state by secret ballot, most teacher delegates represent either one larger chapter or several smaller ones. Other delegates represent higher e d u c a t i o n , e d u c a t i o n s u p p o r t professionals, Student CTA members and retired educators. The ratio of members to delegates is 447, so a larger chapter may have more than one delegate. Council delegates elect the CTA president , vice president and secretary- treasurer, the 21 members of the CTA Board of Directors, and the numerous members of Council committees. CTA pol icies, elect ion Terri Jackson United Teachers of Richmond priorities and positions on legislation are brought to the floor of Council for a vote by the body after members on 18 Council committees weigh t h e i s s u e s a n d ma k e recommendations about new 22 California Educator | october 2009 CTA photo by Mike Myslinski

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - October 09